The Hudson at Inwood

Ernest Lawson (American, 1873 - 1939)

circa 1917. Oil on canvas, 30 x 40". 1931.201

Ernest Lawson’s technique, high-key palette, and portrayal of sunlight and the seasons are derived from French Impressionism, but his forms are solid and more structured, like those of Paul Cézanne. Lawson was sometimes criticized for avoiding picturesque subjects, but he was also admired for his ability to find beauty in the “suburban wilderness.” During his lifetime, the northern tip of Manhattan, seen here, was wooded, sparsely populated, and dotted with small farms and buildings. Lawson has used parallel brushstrokes to form the roofs in the houses and some distant trees, and he has added texture to the foreground by making tracks in the paint with a palette knife.

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